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For hundreds of years, mushroom foraging has been a popular European activity. The variety of textures and flavors from the mushrooms have made them a coveted ingredient in many cuisines. With the recent focus on organic and locally-sourced food, the allure of wild mushrooms has skyrocketed. This is particularly true in the Berkshire region of Massachusetts, where local experts report over 1,000 different species around Pittsfield alone. If you’d like to participate in mushroom foraging, here are some of the most common edible mushrooms in Massachusetts and what you need to know about them!
After searching for edible mushrooms in Massachusetts, what do your vacation plans entail? Let our Vacation Guide to the Berkshires help you plan the ultimate getaway! It’s filled with all the best recommendations for local activities, dining, shopping, and more that you surely won’t want to miss!
Everyone knows that some species of wild mushrooms are poisonous to humans, and there are also plenty that will make you sick. When it comes to hunting your own, people can be fooled by look-a-likes or have adverse reactions due to individual allergies. Before you begin mushroom foraging in Massachusetts, it’s best to have some background knowledge! We suggest investing in a wild mushroom identification book or check out websites dedicated to edible wild mushrooms. These will help you get acquainted with different species, classes, and types of fungi.
If you want to have the best chance at finding Massachusetts fungi, it’s best to travel with a local expert. The Berkshire Mycological Society holds guided mushroom foraging tours at 10 AM every Sunday where you can head out on a two-hour mushroom-picking adventure. Then you’ll have the chance to identify and compare what you’ve found. The tours are both fun and informative and are a great way to safely hunt your own ’shrooms.
Bonus Tip: The best time to find mushrooms is about two weeks after heavy rain!
Hen of the Woods, chanterelles, and morels are just a few of the intriguing and delicious edible mushrooms in Massachusetts. Morels can be easily found in damp areas and have a hearty, woodsy flavor. Chanterelles are often spotted in mixed woods and taste more like flowers than fungi. Hen of the Woods tends to grow in wild bushy clusters near dead or dying trees. However, their fabulous flavor and cancer-preventing properties simply can’t be beat. Sauté any of these varieties in some garlic and butter and you have yourself an incredible meal you’ll never forget!
Whether you’re a fungi fanatic or are simply looking for something new and exciting to try, skip the grocery store and book your stay at our Berkshire bed and breakfast! Our beautiful rooms and suites are the perfect place to relax in between mushroom hunts, and dinner at our award-winning onsite restaurant will give you the chance to try more of our area’s delicious local produce.
Book your stay with us today! We look forward to welcoming you soon.
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to request your free copy of our Vacation Guide to the Berkshires! It’s a handy tool that helps you stay ahead of the crowds and put together the ultimate vacation.